If there were any doubts that the Seattle Kraken are a good hockey team those doubts were dispelled last night at Boston’s TD Garden.
In a game that lived up to any hype, the Kraken shutout the Boston Bruins, 3-0, probably the biggest win ever in the Kraken’s brief history. Martin Jones, who was a Bruin for all of four days back in 2015, turned aside 21shots in recording his second consecutive shutout.
“This win gives us a lot of confidence,” said Seattle alternate captain Jordan Eberle. “It shows we can go into any building in the league and win. Playing the Bruins is a measuring stick.”
The Kraken remain undefeated in 2023, 7-0 overall, 6-0 on the road, and improve to 25-12-4 overall. The win also marked the second time this season the Kraken have won seven consecutive games. With the win, Seattle’s the only NHL team not to lose a game in 2023.
Boston drops to 32-5-4, and were shutout for the first time this season. The Bruins had a 14-game point streak end (11-0-3). The Bruins had been 19-0-3 at home. It was their first home loss in regulation in 29 games (26-0-3, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs) since a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on April 14 of last season. Despite the loss, the Bruins are still nine standing points ahead of every other NHL team.
The Kraken had goals in each of the three periods. Brandon Tanev, Eeli Tolvanen and Justin Schwartz (an empty-netter) were the Kraken goal scorers. Tolvanen has four goals in seven games since Seattle picked him up on waivers from the Nashville Predators and the Kraken have yet to lose a game with Tolvanen in the lineup.
Tanev, who played college hockey an hour down the road at Providence College, mentioned last year on the `Spittin’ Chiclets’ podcast that he `hung around a lot in Boston’ during his college days. It was a homecoming celebration of sorts as Tanev scored the opening goal at 8:14 of the first period.
After defenseman Will Borgen shot the puck into the Boston defensive end, Tanev landed a booming check on Brandon Carlo, the much bigger Bruins’ defenseman. The puck came to Daniel Sprong on the other side of the ice and Sprong fired from the right wing. Tanev tipped the puck home for his ? goal of the season.
“I was hoping for the best,” Tanev said. “I know Daniel is a great shooter, so you can just park yourself in front of the net and hopefully you can deflect one in, and I was fortunate enough for that to happen.”.
Tolvanen made it 2-0 at 19:22 of the second period, on a wrist shot off a pass from Oliver Bjorkstrand. Bjorkstrand had started the scoring play by breaking up a Bruins’ scoring thrust at the other end.
Needless to say, Boston wasn’t going down without a fight. Jones, who made a big stop on Boston’s leading scorer David Pastrnak in the second period, came up with two big saves on Patrice Bergeron in the final period.
The Bruins pulled goalie Linus Ullmark – who had a fine game in his own right and has been selected to the All-Star team- with just under five minutes remaining. Boston’s offense had Seattle hemmed into its own defensive zone as five Kraken- defenseman Vince Dunn and Adam Larsson along with forwards Yanni Gourde, Bjorkstrand and Tolvanen – couldn’t get off the ice for three minutes. The average shift in the NHL is a minute.
Finally, Larsson and Dunn worked the puck out of the zone ahead to Schwartz who shot into the open net from center ice. The sellout crowd headed to the exits realizing the Bruins were going to lose on home ice for the first time this season.
Jones picked up his 26th career shutout. In 2015, he was traded by the Los Angeles Kings over the summer as part of a trade for Milan Lucic. The Bruins’ then new general manager Don Sweeney sent Jones to the San Jose Sharks for rookie Sean Kuraly and a draft choice (Charlie McAvoy). However, after the game, Jones praised his teammates.
“I thought we did a really, really good job,” Jones said. “We blocked shots, we picked up sticks, we cleared pucks out. That was probably the biggest thing; we were really, really strong in front of our net tonight. I thought that was probably our most complete game of the season. To come in and play how we did and come up with a win in this building, that’s a big step forward for us.”
It’s a tough place to win, obviously,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “Teams haven’t always been able to do that, so for our guys, we should be proud of that. We did all the little things that you have to do to win: scored a couple timely goals, had some really good goaltending.”
The Kraken complete their road trip tomorrow in Chicago against the Blackhawks. Chicago overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat the Kraken on Oct. 23, 5-4.
- Adding to the pre-game hype, the Kraken’s rookie sensation Matty Beniers was facing the team he grew up watching in Hingham, Mass., 16 miles Southeast of Boston, for the first time. Beniers was also facing off against his favorite player, Patrice Bergeron, for the first time. Beniers has often been compared to Bergeron as far as their respective skating styles. Beniers said he lost track of how many people he left tickets for, but estimated it was the largest amount of family and friends to see him at one time.
- While Beniers’ five-game scoring streak ended last night, Boston’s first-year coach Jim Montgomery, had some nice things to say about the Kraken’s All-Star representative on the Bruins’ website. “He’s a really good hockey player,” said Montgomery. “He’s as good defensively as he’s shown offensively. I don’t want to compare him to Bergy, but you see some of those qualities the way he plays without the puck.”’
- Ryan Donato made his second appearance in Boston as a member of the Kraken. The Boston native followed in his father’s footsteps by playing for Harvard and the Boston Bruins. Ted Donato was also his son’s coach at Harvard.
- Seattle became the seventh team in NHL history to win each of its first six or more games of a road trip. The last one to do so was the San Jose Sharks from Nov. 13-22, 2015. Martin Jones, who’s win five of the six games, was also the Sharks’ goaltender in 2015. Heading into last night’s game, Boston ranked second in goals scored and Seattle’s third. Buffalo, the team the Kraken defeated in their previous game, is first. Seattle ranks first in goals scored off of an opponent’s turnover (within 10 seconds) with 50 goals for, and they have allowed the third-fewest against.
S- Brandon Tanev (Daniel Sprong) 8:14.
S- Eeli Tolvanen (Oliver Bjorkstrand, Yanni Gourde) 19:22
S- Jaden Schwartz (Adam Larsson, Vince Dunn) 18:10.
Shots On Goal- Seattle 31, Boston 27.
Penalty Minutes- Seattle 2, Boston 6.
Referees- Gord Dayer, Justin St. Pierre. Linesman- Mark Shewchyk, Justin Johnson.
Three Stars- 1. Martin Jones, S. 2. Brandon Tanev, S. 3. Linus Ullmark, B.